Sunday, August 22, 2010

visual learners

I have come to appreciate that each of us has a primary, or preferred, mode of learning.  Some learn. best audibly...some learn through reading, some like the use of parables and analogies and some are visual learners, responding best to pictures, illustrations and diagrams.  I realized this morning that the Lord recognizes this and that He has used all of these methods to reach us and to reveal Himself to us.  In Acts, chapter 10 a Roman centurion named Cornelius in the coastal town of Caesarea found that he and the apostle Peter had something in common:  they were both visual learners.  Each of them received a vision from Heaven that left an immediate and indelible impression and pushed them to act boldly and in new ways that would foster personal growth and facilitate expansion of the church.  Cornelius loved the Lord and was faithful in prayer and giving to the poor.  An angel appeared to him and directed him to send men to bring Peter from Joppa, another coastal town about 35 miles away.  Simultaneously, Peter saw a vision of all kinds of unclean animals that the Jews were forbidden to eat and heard a voice that told him to go ahead and eat the "unclean" animals because God has cleansed them.  This was such a deeply held conviction that the Lord repeated the entire vision three times while Peter was in some kind of trance.  When Cornelius' men came for Peter, he was turning this vision over in his mind...wondering what the personal meaning was.  The Holy Spirit entered the picture and explained that the men sent from Cornelius were really sent by God.  Peter went with them...servants of a Roman soldier...Rome the conquering power that had crucified Jesus and people who were "unclean" to the Jew.  So the Lord prepared Cornelius and Peter for a dramatic change that they wouldn't have made on their own, reaching them in a way they couldn't get around and encouraging their openness and obedience.  When Peter and Cornelius met, they shared their visions and realized that God had a biggier vision of life than they had previously understood.  I began to see that change has its origin with the communicated to us in a manner that reaches our deepest understanding...and is confirmed as we share these truths with other believers.  The Lord will use visions, teachings, analogies, circumstances and whatever it takes to move us out of our complacence and comfort and into the center of His plan.  He is a multi-media communicator with a powerful plan for us and for our world.
Acts 10:33 'So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come.  Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you to God." 
Rob Smith

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